KANSAS CITY, Mo. – They’re on opposite sides of the gun debate, but Friday, two men were debating over road signs. One man put up signs to advertise the metro’s largest gun show this weekend. Another man didn’t like them and pulled them up.
Richard Zind says the signs he saw Thursday in his Northland neighborhood are no different than litter on the side of the road.
“I was headed down Barry Road. I just happened to see a sign for a gun show. Yellow, with black letters and big type,” he described.
He says they’re ugly and spread a negative message.
“Why are we continuing to advertise and proliferate weapons?” he asked.
The signs advertise this weekend’s RK Gun Show at the KCI Expo Center, something Zind is very much against.
“They’re deadly and they’re unforgiving and in the hands of a human, create a lot of havoc,” Zind said.
Zind pulled up half-a-dozen of the signs, threw them out in the woods, then posted online about his role to “end gun proliferation.”
Zind says the post has generated a lot of tension: “Everything started pouring in about what a sissy I am, what a bad person I am, what a thief I am and how I’m preventing people from protecting themselves.”
He says it’s his right to clean up his neighborhood.
“If they’ve got the gall to put a gun show sign like that on the side of the road, then why am I not entitled to take it off the side of the road? That side of the road belongs to all of us as tax-paying citizens,” he said.
Rex Kehrli runs the RK Gun Show, and extended an invitation to Zind.
“He has my full forgiveness. I wish he’d come out and give our show a chance. I think he’d enjoy it. I’ve never thought it was real good to steal anything,” Kehrli said.
While Kehrli isn’t pleased Zind stole his signs, he does wish he’d keep an open mind to guns and the fact he says they save lives.
“There is zero relationship between a gun show and what happened in Orlando. To the contrary, I wish there’d been more armed security, or more people that were responsible and armed in that room and we wouldn’t have talked about such heavy casualties," Kehrli said.
Both men couldn’t be farther apart on the gun issue. When it comes to the signs, Kehrli said: “We’re like any other event that puts signs out. We do go back out and get them. That’s all we’re trying to do is make a living.”
Zind said: “I would do it again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. I would.”
It is against code to put signs in the public right-of-way and city inspectors can write citations. Citizens can remove signs, but only if they’re authorized through a neighborhood association. Kansas City Media Spokesperson Chris Hernandez provided these details:
Below is the actual language of the ordinance covering signs placed in the public right of way.
City workers and neighborhood associations occasionally do sweeps to pull up signs, especially in response to complaints from residents.